I first visited my friend’s cottage in Willsboro, NY back in 2003 when we were childless high school teachers. We’ve come back a few times since, and now there are 2 cottages, usually grandparents in one and 5 kids between the 2 of us! It’s a whole different kind of party now, and a lot of fun.
Lake Champlain is far enough from New York City to seem undiscovered. It doesn’t have the crowds like Lake George in the summertime. I highly recommend renting a place here in the summer, and be sure to have access to kayaks. The lake compared to others I’ve been to has few motorized boats, so it’s quiet and safe. The kids love being outside in the bug-free breezes (they do come out at night but nothing like our hometown bugs). The water is clear and calm and much warmer than all the Michigan lakes we’ve visited!
Berry picking is a good idea if you’re there in summer – the blueberries were in season while we were there.
Some things to do in the area:
Rent a cabin on the lake. Bass fishing is good too – get some night crawlers.
Horse camp: Willow Hill Farm is a really special place. The camp lead teacher has been running the day camp for 16 years! We visited for the day and a lesson and it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Ausable Chasm – not cheap, and mixed reviews, but some people rave about it.
Livingoods restaurant – great service, burgers and beer.
Farm-to-table stands cannot be beat in this area. I’d highly recommend going to the Plattsburgh grocery stores only for staples, and then do the rest of your shopping at one of these farms:
This area is rich with sustainable foods. There’s also a tiny farmers’ market in Willsboro on Thursdays (and there are also lots of other farmers’ markets in the area as well during the summer months.)
Asgaard farm (and farm stay) – store open Thursdays and Saturdays.
List of local farms here at Hub on the Hill. Many of the farms you can buy from directly, but the Hub is a great spot to stop and get everything in one place.
Juniper Hill farm lists the markets they attend, which will give you an idea of where to shop for produce during the week.